Friday, November 26, 2004 

Crazy Like a Fox

The big story of the last three days among the media has of course been the resignation of Dan Rather as the chief anchor of "CBS Evening News." All sorts of theories have abound as to why Rather is leaving right now. Some say it's because of the false report CBS News ran during the recent election on President George Bush's national guard service. Others say he has been planning it since before the Sept.11th attacks, but remained on in the wake of the aftermath of that terrorist assault. Whatever the reason, I think most Americans really don't care - and I am chief among them. You see, I don't watch Dan Rather. Or Tom Brokow or Peter Jennings for that matter. I generally only watch Fox News. But why would I do such a thing? It's on cable for crying out loud! Well, it's because only Fox News seems to understand me. And that's why, I think, Fox News destroys all the other networks in the cable news race. It's a simple supply-and-demand scenario. Americans are demanding a newscast that doesn't pervert facts, approaches news from a moralistic perspective, and seeks to understand their viewers. Fox is the only one I have found to be supplying that.

Take for example "Fox and Friends," the network's answer to a morning-wakeup program. Wednesday morning they interviewed Rebecca St. James, a Christian singer/songwriter from Australia. She is one of the loudest voices in the Nashville recording scene for sexual abstinence. In fact, I have even made fun of how much she says the word, "Virgin" in her concerts. Regardless, she is a solid role model for teenagers and young adults alike who live in the midst of a sex-crazed culture. Now, not only did Fox News interview her this morning, but they allowed her to say the name of Jesus and to deliver a message of anti-feminism which she details in her new book, She: Safe, Healthy, Empowered, without being made to look like an idiot for holding to what most perceive as an archaic mindset. In fact, she was not only praised by the woman who conducted the interview, but she was seemingly agreed with as well (something you won't see on other networks)!

Now I could go on with example after example of what I have seen over the past few months on Fox News that has led me to this conclusion, but suffice it to say that Fox News is, for me, the new benchmark of accurate and insightful reporting. So I say, "Getownoudaheah, Dan Rather, there's a new sheriff in town, and he's crazy like a Fox!"

Have a Great Thanksgiving Watching Fox News,
D.R.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004 

What Are People Thankful For?

After a short silence, I have decided to return for a day to ponder this week's stories in light of the Thanksgiving day holiday. So, as I thought about what people might be thankful for, I came up with a few that some of you might find amusing:

Ron Artest is thankful that he now gets the time off he wanted to promote his rap album.
John Green is thankful that Artest punched the wrong guy.
Hillary Clinton is thankful that John Kerry lost so that she might be able to experience her own major, crushing defeat in 2008.
Bill Clinton is thankful that his LIE-brary is now open in Arkansas.
Dan Rather is thankful that his lies have earned him early retirement.
Arlen Specter is thankful that the Republicans didn't think he lied when he appeared before the Judiciary Committee to beg for the chairmanship.
The insurgents in Fallujah are thankful that they no longer have to try to occupy that city. The insurgents in other parts of Iraq are thankful that they now know what to expect when it's their turn to be kicked out.
Scott Peterson is thankful that he will finally get to live the bachelor life he has always wanted - plenty of male friendship and cable T.V.
Viacom is thankful that they are still able to afford cable T.V. after the payout they just made to the FCC.
And finally, I am thankful that I have cable T.V. so I can make fun of all the top stories of the week in the comfort of my own apartment.


But seriously, remember to be thankful this season. Dr. Mohler reminds us that we ought to be thankful to our Creator and John Piper calls us to be thankful for our own flawed lives, as well as those of the great saints of history.

May God Richly Bless You and Your Family This Thanksgiving,
D.R.


Thursday, November 18, 2004 

God, Among Other Humans

Did you hear the latest one about God, Mohammed, Karl Rove, George Bush, Mel Gibson, and Michael Moore? Yeah, it's a doozy! Only one problem, though -- it's not a joke. It seems that the rag-tag group mentioned above along with our Creator and the founder of Islam are all competing for a coveted prize this year -- Time Magazine's Man (oops, I mean Person) of the Year.

Now it may come as no surprise to conservative Christians and Muslim fundamentalists that God and Mohammed are in competition, but it seems doubtful that even the most moderate of these two groups would appreciate them being compared to any of the guys mentioned above. Now, I know that Time magazine always throws around some crazy ideas about who to name as Person of the Year. In 1966 they suggested possibly "The 25 and Under Generation," in 1988 it was the "Endangered Earth," and in 2003, "The American Soldier." But this might be going a bit overboard.

One thing this certainly makes a person consider is, "What do people really think when they imagine God?" I think the first thing that we can say is that there is no consensus as to who He is. In former times God-talk was not so eclectic. It seemed to center on a Being, the Creator of the universe, who was all-powerful, all-knowing, and very much seperate from us. In 1917 Rudolf Otto authored his most famous work Das Heilige or The Idea of the Holy. He reported researched many different ancient and modern civilizations to discover how they viewed whatever it was they considered holy, whether it be a god, a place, or a force. What he found was that almost universally all people view "the holy" with ambivalence. He observed that although there is great attraction to "the holy" that feeling is always met with an overwhelming sense of fear. This seems to be the case when we think about how we are to experience God. It doesn't take much systematized delving into the Bible to see that many of the Patriarchs and Prophets viewed God in this same way. Note Isaiah's account of his meeting with God in 6:1-8:
In the year of King Uzziah's death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood
above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called out to another and said, "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory." And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the temple was filling with smoke. Then I said, "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. "Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, "Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven. "Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!"
If you really think about it for a moment and imagine the scene from a third person point of view, you might think, "This guy is scared for his life. Why isn't he gettin' the heck outta' Dodge instead of waiting around and volunteering his services!" And we could rightly observe that it is because in the exchange between God and Isaiah we see not only a frightful scene, but a gracious one as well. Isaiah simultaneously cowers and emboldenly speaks. What a strange combination. But this is the reaction that God desires.

But what seems more commonplace in our postmodern society, evidenced in this strange idea to make God "Person of the Year" is that we have lost all fear of God. We do not think anything irreverent anymore. It's no longer profane to assign God a place alongside any ole' sinner competing for something that is designed to mark acheivement among humans.

Although we have become used to this type of theological confusion, I think this illustrates powerfully how far our society has retreated from its roots, how far away from the ideas of the founding fathers of this nation we have drifted. It is a sad society which looses its "Idea of the Holy." Maybe that is why we have thrown morality out the door in this country and declared ourselves "God" alongside Shirley McClain.

The only answer for this craziness is for the Holy Spirit to reveal to people their sin and their inadequecy, causing them to realize that their only hope is in something more powerful than themselves and then for them to hear the Gospel and repent. Otherwise, we are destined as a society to become more irreverrent.

May You See God Work in Your Corner of the World,
D.R.

*as an aside I would like to thank my lovely fiance for keeping me up to date on the news while I slave away sending out resumes and getting our wedding invitations ready to send out. I love you, Brandi! Only 51 more days!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004 

The Links That I Will Go To

I figured I would give everyone a break today including myself and just share with you some places on the internet where you can find excellent commentary, news, and fun.

For news:
www.foxnews.com -- intelligent, balanced news in a great format
www.drudgereport.com -- quick resource for all the top stories and some interesting ones (incidentally, Matt Drudge -the founder- first broke the Monica Lewinsky scandal)
www.bpnews.net -- a collection of news stories that impact Baptist (particularly of the Southern persuasion)

For insightful commentary:
www.crosswalk.com/news/weblogs/mohler -- weblog of Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (published 5 days a week)
www.henryinstitute.org -- home of the Carl F.H. Henry Institute for Evangelical Engagement
www.christianitytoday.com -- magazine that Carl F.H. Henry and Billy Graham helped launch

For fun:
www.homestarrunner.com -- for all you cartoon lovers

I will try to post a new list every 2 weeks or so, but that will do for now. I am working on stories related to PETA, the Boy Scouts, and the effects of the Sexual Revolution (all those are separate topics of course -- unless you know something I don't). So until tomorrow keep seeking God with all your mind,

For The Glory He is Due,
D.R.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004 

The Necessity of Biblical Authority

There is an old cliche about what happens when you ASSUME. Well, for far too long now we have been a country of donkeys. It seems evident that most people have no authority in their lives other than their own mind. Some, however, are followers of the media or celebrities or presidential candidates or Michael Moore, which may be even more problematic. Regardless of one's ideals, they come from someplace. Where they originate will determine what type of person he or she will become.

So, from where should we obtain truth? Many today obviously claim that science will ultimately determine all truth. Others say that philosophy or New Age religions will guide us. But let someone claim that truth comes only from the Word of God and you will see a flurry of rolled eyes and hear a conglomeration of elongated sighs. Yet this is the very place from which we must gather objective truth. It must be our standard of measurement, our rule of thumb in all situations. Without the Bible, we would be disconnected from the very source of life -- God.

Let's actually think for a minute. First, get past the delusion that Darwinism is in any way correct. It takes as much faith, if not more, to believe that something came from nothing as it does to believe that something temporal came from something eternal. We proved spontaneous combustion to be a hoax years ago, so why are there still scientists who believe in the Big Bang Theory? Second, realize that if a God created all of this world that we know of and gave to humans the ability to think and reason in such a way as to understand that He created us, then why would He not also give us an instruction book so as to be able to navigate through the treacherous waters we call "life"? And if He did give us such an instruction book, wouldn't it be able to survive the test of time, be authenticated by phenomena such as miracles, and be consistent, reasoned, livable, and ultimately lead us to a deeper understanding of Him? Third, think about what resource could be categorized by all of the above and also promote the best life for all of mankind. The answer is the Bible.

Now, Christians know that the Bible is the answer. What is disturbing is that a large group of Christians still do not take it seriously. They either say that it has errors and is unreliable or that it must be supplemented with psychology or sociology in such a way that it becomes completely irrelevant. And if Christians do not take the Bible seriously, how will we ever convince a lost and dying world to do so.

What we need in this country most right now is a consensus of authority. There is only one answer -- the Bible. Let us call our brethren to serious contemplation of the Scriptures and to living out a life that is consistent with what God has taught us through His Word. God has given us a great gift, a sword we must wield correctly in a world fraught with danger and deception. May we all understand the necessity of Biblical authority.

Soli Deo Gloria,
D.R.

Monday, November 15, 2004 

Jesus, Friend of Fools?

It doesn't take much channel-surfing or magazine-thumbing these days to find some left-winger or atheist proclaiming the stupidity of Christianity. I mentioned in my very first blog the episode of "Real Time with Bill Maher" in which Maher himself staged a frontal assault on Evangelical and Fundamentalist Christians and their role in politics, only to be rebuked by a conservative homosexual blogger who rightly linked Maher's attitude with that of the Democratic party. On the October 21, 2004 edition of "Scarborough Country" on MSNBC, Janeane Garofalo made this equally horrific observation regarding Christians:
And I think it's absurd we are even discussing [the idea that Christ will return to earth in the end of time]. We might as well call the new right wing the Flat Earth Society. I think it is absurd in the year 2004 that we are talking about the end times. We are talking about a president who said the jury is still out on evolution.
And I could go on and on with example after example of the attitude of many liberals in this country concerning Christianity. On the program mentioned above Garofalo used the words "anti-intellectual" and "pre-modern" to describe any set of religious beliefs that claimed to be absolute truth. So it seems that what you have here is a school-yard type fight in which one side in sing-song fashion yells out, "I am smarter than you-oo, I am smarter than you-oo, I am smarter than you-oo," as though that really solves anything. And not only that, but also a fallacious argument that says, "It is absolutely absurd to claim absolute truth, unless of course, you are talking about evolution, in which case, one would be absolutely absurd to not claim it as being absolutely true."

It seems that what these people are doing is saying that it is unreasonable to challenge their beliefs and thus dismissing any arguments which would show evolution to be suspect, while at the same time claiming that it is unreasonable for any person to not accept challenges to that person's religious views. It is all very confusing, which is exactly why conservative Christians are not stupid. They are not fooled by all the double-talk. They realize that postmodern thought can not pass the test of either comprehensiveness or consistency. As Dr. Robert Stewart used to say, "No one wants a postmodern banker," for a postmodern banker would not believe in an absolute set of monetary rules or even in an absolute standard of multiplication and division. There is no telling what would end up happening with your money! This is the same thing that is happening with the so called "liberal elite" who claim to be the intellectuals of this country -- they cannot live out their system; so they go around picking apart everyone else's to prove that no one's works perfectly, all the while being blind to the fact that theirs doesn't either.

I hope you are following me so far. I know that I am not the best at explaining this sort of philosophical mumbo-jumbo. But at the very least I hope you can get the fact that it is wrong for liberals and any others to claim that the other side is stupid and therefore should be ignored. Christians, in fact, have throughout history tended to be revered as some of the most intelligent men and women on the earth. Examples would include St. Paul, who argued his case at Mars Hill; Athanasius, who almost single-handedly won over the support of thousands of Arians with his defense of Trinitarianism; Justin Martyr, Aristides, and Theophilus, three apologists who wrote major works in the first century A.D. which convinced hundreds, if not thousands, to leave polytheistic beliefs and embrace Christianity; St. Augustine, the author of The City of God and one of the greatest theologians of the church; Thomas Aquinas, author of the Summa Theologica and one of the first philosophers to offer "proofs" for the existence of God; William of Occam, famous for his "Razor" argument; Sir Isaac Newton, a.k.a. Mr. Gravity; Martin Luther, John Knox, John Calvin, Ulrich Zwingli, and John Owen, all brilliant theologians and Reformers; and modern day men such as Carl F. H. Henry, Francis Schaeffer, William Dembski, and Charles Colson, who have led Christians today to think deeper and reason better than ever before.

In the end Christians will be shown to be wise and those who reject Christ will be shown to be foolish. We shouldn't worry when we are called "stupid" by worldly men and women; but sometimes we need to remind ourselves that standing on Biblical truth, which can be backed by solid logic is a part of historical Christianity of which we can be proud. So hold your heads up high, my brothers and sisters in Christ, and meet face to face the challenge of defending your faith, for you have Truth on your side!

Until Christ Shall Vindicate His People, May We Be Faithful Stewards of Truth,
D.R.

Sunday, November 14, 2004 

Three Cheers for Justice?

The pastor of my home church in New Orleans use to quip, "Divorce is for life, but a good lawyer can get you out of Angola for murder in seven years." Unfortunately for Scott Peterson, he didn't have a good lawyer. Friday he was convicted by a jury in Redwood City, CA of murdering not only his pregnant wife, but also his unborn child, Conner. He is likely going to prison for life, if not the electric chair for 5 minutes or so.

It seems to have been the consensus around this country, even before the trial began, that Peterson was guilty of killing his wife, Laci, and their unborn son. Now, five months after the trial began and almost 2 years following Laci's disappearance, a California court agrees. What I believe to be the most interesting thing about the trial, however, is what happened when the verdict was read. According to Julia Prodis Sulek, writing for Knight Ridder Newspapers:


Cheers broke out among the onlookers -- some of whom pumped their fists in celebration upon hearing the news on the radio. They cheered Laci Peterson's family and booed Scott Peterson's as they left court. "He's a sicko. He needs to fry. I wanted to see that justice was served," Bob Johnston said.
As I watched this scene unfold on television, I saw numerous women hugging one another while crying and even laughing. My gut reaction was, "Why on earth are these people happy. A court has just declared someone 'guilty'. Shouldn't there be sadness and mourning over this atrocity." But as I began to think more about it, I realized that what these women and men were elated over was not that someone was convicted, but rather that someone was convicted. These people were crying out for justice and were joyous to see that their voices had been heard.

This made me think about the voices of the martyrs described in the book of Revelation. In chapter 6, the elder apostle John says,


When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of
those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the
testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice,
saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also."

What a scene this must have been for John! And what marvelous encouragement this must have been to the once and future sufferers who lived under the iron fist of Roman control. Here we have numerous martyrs still waiting to see justice be done.

For sinful humans, justice is something for which we never cease to pursue. When we are wronged in the job market, we utter the word "discrimination" and call the ACLU; when we feel we have been mistreated by a friend, we claim "disloyalty"; and when we just generally don't get our way, we say we have been "wronged" because we deserve better. Yet it never seems to cross our mind that we have committed a multitude of ultimate wrongs by sinning against a Holy God who "gives to all people life and breath and all things" (Acts 17:25). So as I thought about that mob scene of onlookers cheering the verdict against Scott Peterson, I wondered why we as Christians did not seek the justice of God in our own lives more; why we do not recognize our own sin and repent; and why we are so quick to thank God for justice being done in a murder case and yet so slow to praise Him for not pouring out His wrath upon us who prostitute ourselves out to the world every day.

This trial is not over. Soon the same set of jurors will decide what punishment Scott Peterson will face for his crimes. As you hear more and more in the coming days think not about what this man deserves and ultimately receives, but rather on what we, as God's chosen people, deserve and yet do not receive because One who did not deserve death took it upon Himself for our sakes and His Glory.

Soli Deo Gloria,
D.R.

Saturday, November 13, 2004 

The Specter of Filibustering

America is a crazy place. Just under two weeks ago Americans went to the polls to vote for the candidate that best represented their moral views. Now I say that not just because so many Evangelical and Catholic voters popped their chads for Bush in a show of support for the President's stance on the issues of abortion, gay marriage, and stem-cell research, but because those secularist and liberal Christian voters touch-screened for Kerry as an endorsement of his position on of all those same issues. The difference between these two groups is that one opposes those three key morality concerns, while the other freely lends their support to a candidate dead set on their universal acceptance. This election was not about the war in Iraq or the war on terror, but rather the war on abortion, gay marriage, and stem-cell research. And Americans have spoken!

Now, how are those three issues that insured Bush a second term going to be spun in the coming days? Well, it seems that they will all come down to two men -- Arlen Specter and Bill Frist. Arlen Specter is a Republican Senator from Pennsylvania. He seems poised to become the next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He will have a powerful hand in determining the judges who will rule on the cases involving those three key issues. And that would be all well and good for Republicans, conservatives, Evangelical Christians, and Traditional Catholics, except for the fact that Mr. Specter holds all the opposing views of the President who those people just placed in power. He has already made statements regarding the fact that he sees no Supreme Court nominees being approved who disagree with Roe v. Wade. He voted against the Partial Birth Abortion Ban. And he has already voted against one of President Bush's most hopeful appointees, Robert Bork (who, by the way, is one of the most qualified candidates to ever be considered). So how will any progress be made in our court system with a man such as this heading the committee? The people have spoken, yet it appears that one man has the power to silence them again.

And, as though we were about to announce a major heavyweight title bout, in the other corner standing six-foot-nothing and weighing in at a-hundred-and-nothing is the distinguished gentleman from Tennessee -- the Senate Majority Leader (the Doc of the Senate as he is known to his friends), Bill Frist. This man has the power to help blow to bits the other major obstacle standing in the way of moral reform -- the dreaded filibuster. When I was just a young pup in government class at White Station High in Memphis, I thought that the filibuster-thingy was pretty cool. We heard stories of Senators reading phone books, novels, and just about any thing else in order to keep the vote for a bill from being taken. Sounded like a hilarious scene out of a movie to me. But now that I am grown and have put away childish things, I think it is time for the Senate to do the same. Filibustering is a grown man's way of whining when he hasn't gotten his way. And those grown men these days are folks like Ted Kennedy and yes, the former Presidential candidate himself, John Kerry. They will continue to try to block the Senate from approving the President's appointees to the federal bench. But who is our Uberman? Yes, Bill Frist -- the man from my home state may hold the key to changing the Senate rules to block filibustering judicial nominees.

So America is a crazy country. The people were told all along in this election that their vote counted, that it really mattered this time. P-Diddy taught us to "VOTE OR DIE." MTV said "hey dude, ROCK THE VOTE!" And the Southern Baptists cried out, "VOTE YOUR VALUES!" But in the end, it may come down to the voices of two men -- Arlen Specter and Bill Frist. It just reminds me of how hopeless our entire society is. Even when we organize, energize, and mobilize to achieve our political goals we are all at the mercy of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Politics are flawed, America is flawed, and most of all we, as people, are flawed. We must remember not to put our faith in a political system that is doomed to fail as miserably as humans are, but rather on a sinless Jewish man from a little town in Israel who 2000 years ago allowed Himself to be nailed to a cross in order to secure for His people all things.

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" Romans 8:31-32

Let us all pray to God that He might bring to us victory in our struggle to reinstate morality into the fiber of America. The battle belongs to the Lord!

By His Grace and For His Glory Alone,
D.R.

Friday, November 12, 2004 

Yasser Arafat

Ok, so let's get to some real commentary now. The topic of the day -- Yasser Arafat. Everyone is talking about this man in the wake of his death. Who was he? What did he do for the Palestinian people? And in light of the answers to these two questions, why is he being honored by so many, including the French President Jacques Chirac who went to visit the dead leader Thursday morning. To hear the words of Chirac one would think that he was honoring a hero. He said as he arrived, "I have come to bow before president Yasser Arafat and pay him a final homage." He later praised Arafat for being "a man of courage and conviction who for forty years has incarnated the Palestinians' fight for recognition of their national rights," adding later, "To the Palestinian people, at this moment of mourning I want to express the friendship of France and of the French people."

Add to that the words of many others including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter who called Arafat, "the father of the modern Palestinian nationalist movement" and "a powerful human symbol and forceful advocate." He went on to say that "Palestinians united behind him in their pursuit of a homeland." But possible the most shocking comment made by Carter was when he told reporters that Arafat provided "indispensable leadership to a revolutionary movement." Did you catch that? A revolutionary movement. Not a terrorist movement mind you, but a revolutionary one. Didn't America achieve it's independence in a war which bears the same name? This man, Yasser Arafat, was a terrorist and yet he was given the Nobel Peace prize in 1994, and now in 2004 he dies with honors being heaped upon him by a former U.S. President who saw first hand the horrors of the PLO.

Now what does all this have to do with Christ and Culture? Well, when I think about all the things that have been said regarding this terrorist leader of the PLO and place them up against those things said about Christians by those on the left in these last days, it seems quite incredible. Christian leaders are stupid and narrow, but Yasser Arafat is a revolutionary hero. Where is the moral compass of America? Evangelicals in this country are demeaned and criticized for holding to age-old principles to which the Founding Fathers of this country also held, and yet a man who orders and funds suicide bombers in an effort to "drive the Jews into the sea" is held in high esteem and given honor by former U.S. Presidents. How jacked-up is that? Christians in this country have to realize that what we are experiencing is merely the beginning skirmishes of a culture war that is about to explode in this country. We must now, more that ever, heed the words of the apostle Peter and be ready to give an account for the hope that is within us.

On a final note, I hope that my assessment of Yasser Arafat does not trigger anyone to think that I am pro-Israeli and therefore anti-Palestinian. I am neutral. Both groups have perpetrated great atrocities in the name of God and for the sake of their land. For a balanced, Evangelical view of this conflict, see John Piper's article on www.desiringgod.org, entitled, "Do Jews Have a Divine Right in the Promised Land?"

May God Richly Bless You for the Sake of His Glory,
D.R.

Thursday, November 11, 2004 

Why A Blog? Part Two

Let's return to the question posed in the first blog. Why a blog? Why now? And why call it "Christ and Culture?" I think all people who blog feel they have something to say that others need to hear. Some do it for selfish gain, some for popularity, some to meet others. So why am I starting one? Well, I am not fully sure. I think I should have done this a long time ago. Doing it now is almost anti-climatic. But, at least I am starting. I want to engage a culture that is lost and dying with a message of truth and of hope. I want to make people think. Now I am not good at thinking myself, but I have found that there are a great number of people out there who actually think less than I. This weekend the new pastor of my home church in Memphis, TN said that to become a teacher all you need is to know more than whoever it is you are teaching. While I agree with this, I think that you can add that you have to make those people you are teaching think. That is the problem with schools today and even with churches. No one wants to really process information. They want it handed to them on a silver platter, they want to memorize it, and then they want to spit it out when needed. Giving that information a critical eye is not in their interests.

But, I digress. For many of you the information that follows is an insult to your time. You may know all of these things, but my vision for this weblog is for those who don't know or who need a refresher course. So for those of you like Krelly or Sampler, just remember not to come down on me too hard for my simplistic and boring explanations. So here we go.

Back to what I was saying about people not really processing information. Bloom's Taxonomy teaches that there are 6 levels of learning -- Knowledge, Comprehension, Application, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation. From the last election we can learn that many never get to the Evaluation stage. People cannot evaluate whether the information that they are hearing is correct, coherent, and consistent. As I said in the previous blog I want to review for those reading the tests for a worldview (which can be applied to almost any argument). But first we must understand the three principles of logic, which are identity, contradiction, and excluded middle. To explain these concepts I am going to refer to Winfried Corduan, who writes in his book No Doubt About It:

"The principle of identity states that a thing or a statement is identical with itself. In other words, this tree is this tree. The principle of contradiction states that if something is true, its contradiction cannot also be true. If it is true that this is a tree, then it must be false that it is not a tree. The principle of excluded middle states that it must be one or the other. Either it is a tree or a non-tree; there is no middle ground between the two."

These principles are important to remember when you engage a culture that deconstructs everything to the point that even identity is no longer a valid principle. This logic is all a part of the postmodern culture in which we live today. Now the ways to assess a worldview must take into consideration these basic principles. They are (according to Robert Stewart of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary):

1) Coherence -- Is it contradictory?
2) Correlation -- Does it seem to match our reality?
3) Comprehensiveness -- How well does it account for all of life?
4) Consistency -- Can you live it?

So, these are some beginning things that I believe all people need to know in order to assess arguments and worldviews. We must have a foundation of philosophy if we are going to be able to discuss ideas, especially those which have to do with politics and theology. I noticed so many times during the course of this last election that even Ivy League-educated political candidates have a hard time keeping their ideas within the realm of logical argumentation and certainly do a poor job of noticing flaws in their opponents' rationale.

Well, that is about all for tonight. Most of you probably didn't make it all the way through, but hopefully you will use this for reference in the future. Maybe I should post some common logical fallicies as well, just in case you notice me using one. Thanks for reading,

Soli Deo Gloria,
D.R.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004 

Why A Blog?


Ok. So if you know me you are asking, "Why a Blog?" "You can't even keep up with a monthly email, so what makes you think you can consistantly blog?" Well, the answer to the second question is simply -- I don't think I can keep up with it. I really don't care to write every day. I may have nothing to say for days or even weeks. But I have had a lot to say over the course of the last two months and I am hoping that I will have a lot more in the coming months to add to that. So the answer to the second question is -- I have a lot to say.

Now, you may also wonder why at 6:30 am on a Tuesday I decided to start this thing. It's because of Bill Maher. Yes, that horribly left-winged host of "Real Time With Bill Maher" on HBO, formerly "Politically Incorrect." I watched a few minutes of it tonight. Why I only watched a few minutes is not something I plan on discussing here. Needless to say, I wanted to watch more. Not because I thought that it was intellectually stimulating, but because the only thing it was teaching me was that people who say they are intellectuals can be terribly ignorant. Bill Maher actually was trying to claim that just because one believes in Jesus Christ, then that person disqualifies themselves from having a voice in American politics. Really I think Maher, who now has his own problem with which he must deal, wants them to not have a voice period. Andrew Sullivan tried to no avail to educate Maher on his inconsistancy in regard to his blatent bigotry against Christians and his outspoken support of other groups who claim absolute truth without any evidence.

So I am starting this blog to rant and to rave about how people claim to be intellectual in one breath and yet in the next spew out grave inconsistencies and contradictory statements. Maybe I will start with explaining the rules in accessing arguments and worldviews. You can look for that in the near future. As for now, I am going to bed. So goodnight to all who may be reading and may we do all for the Glory of God.

Soli Deo Gloria,

D.R.

About me

Paul was not interested merely in the ethical principles of religion or of ethics. On the contrary, he was interested in the redeeming work of Christ and its effect upon us. His primary interest was in Christian doctrine, and Christian doctrine not merely in its presuppositions but at its centre. -- J. Greshem Machen.

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